We caught up with colour and hair-guru Samantha Sellers, known online as @forloveandhair.
1. Tell us about your background and how you started to build your following.
I started out in the beauty industry about 8 years ago and immediately started using my socials (Facebook and Instagram at the time) as a digital portfolio. I was building a clientele and a following at the same time. I started asking questions and engaging with my audience to see what content they wanted to see. As I grew I began to focus my content on educating not just my clients on how to care for their hair but also other stylists so they could learn my techniques and tips.
2. If you could single-handedly debunk three myths about hair care, what would they be?
I love hair myth-busting! So first would be the idea that sulfates are bad. Truth is, they’re really just very effective cleansers. Sulfates are added to cleansing products (like shampoo) to remove dirt and oil. I wouldn’t recommend them if you have chemically treated hair but otherwise they’re totally fine.
The second myth I’d like to bust is that if you have a flakey scalp you need to use anti-dandruff shampoo. Actually, dandruff is caused by a fungus called malassezia and the flakes are oily. If your scalp is flakey and dry, you have a dry scalp. Dandruff shampoos help to dry out the oily flakes so if you actually have dry scalp and you use a drying shampoo…more flakes.
The last myth I’ll be busting today is my favorite one: you can go from wet to dry with a blow dry brush. Fact is, blow dry brushes are amazing but they’re a finishing tool not the whole shebang. Hair needs to be about 70-80% dry before using it or you can end up with some seriously fried and unhappy hair. Think of it like a salon blowout. You get a rough dry first and finish the set with a round brush. Same thing!
3. Which platforms do you predominantly use? Which is your favourite?
I am a social media fanatic for sure! I use Instagram and TikTok mostly, but I also just started using Be Real and I’m really loving it! My favourite is TikTok because it moves so quickly and it’s really engaging for both the viewer and creator.
4. What type of content do you create, and which type works best for your audience?
I create education-focused content for both professionals and beauty fans alike. My audience loves when I introduce new products or techniques and demonstrate how awesome they are. I don’t use models so all my content is super real and reliable.
5. How would you define “influencer marketing”?
Influencer marketing is like being that friend who tried a new restaurant, loved it, comes to work and tells all her friends about it. People are more likely to try something, buy something or experience something if one of their friends recommends it over an ad. It adds a level of authenticity.
6. Have you worked with brands before? How do you decide which brands to work with?
I’ve worked with so many incredible brands and I feel truly honoured. I approach brand partnerships by asking myself “does it work? Do I love it? Is it me?” I won’t promote a brand I haven’t tried and know I can’t back up its claims. I need to love the product and the brand as a whole because I’m authentic and if I wouldn’t recommend it to my friends I’m not going to do that to my audience. I also need to make sure the brand’s ideals and values align with mine. The money doesn’t matter if your audience stops trusting you.
7. How do you think influencer marketing will change over the next 12 months?
That’s a great question! I think you’ll see a lot more micro influencers coming into the arena because although they have a smaller reach they have high engagement rates.
8. How has influencer marketing changed since you began working within social media?
The influencer marketing sphere has changed so much since I first got into the social media game!!! There are so many more options now and practically every brand on the planet uses influencers. I think the biggest shift I’ve seen has been the development of affiliates and ambassadors. It’s a great way to make passive income on the creator side and promotes the affiliated brands as well.
9. Do you use any software to help create and edit your content?
I mostly use Videoleap to edit my videos and FaceTune2 to clean up my photos. I don’t edit the hair ever but sometimes I’ll need to remove a skin blemish or blur the background a bit.
10. How do you balance your online and offline lives?
It’s hard, I’m not going to lie, but what’s been the easiest way for me is to designate a planning day each week and then I edit and schedule all my content for the week so I’m prepared. That way I’m also available for my clients when I’m behind the chair and I’m present for my family when I’m at home.
11. Which influencers inspire you?
12. Where would you like to take your career as an influencer?
I would love to be able to grow my partnerships to where I am able to work with 1-3 brands exclusively as an ambassador with ongoing paid contracts so I can really represent the brands fully and from the heart.
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